VitalStim®Therapy Specialty Program

    An ICE Accredited Assessment Based Certificate Program

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    Add to Calendar 01/19/2019 08:00 AM 01/20/2019 03:30 PM America/Chicago VitalStim®Therapy Specialty Program Hotel: Houston Airport Marriott George Bush
    Phone: 281-443-2310
    Houston Airport Marriott George Bush CIAO Seminars, Inc mail@ciaoseminars.com false MM/DD/YYYY
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    Appropriate Disciplines

    • Speech Language Pathologist
    • Occupational Therapist

Course Description

This is an ADULT FOCUSED COURSE. Click HERE for Pediatric Focus.
Scroll down for Renewal Information

VitalStim Therapy is now a Specialty Certificate Program!
On April 3, 2015, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) granted accreditation to CIAO Seminars' VitalStim Therapy Specialty Program for demonstrating compliance with ICE 1100 - Standard for Assessment-Based Certificate Programs. ICE 1100 was first published in January 2009 to ensure that assessment-based certificate programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the credentialing industry. More information about ICE is available online at www.credentialingexcellence.org.

This dynamic and innovative program has revolutionized dysphagia therapy! Dysphagia Therapists will bring their facilities to a state-of-the-art-level with their Specialty Certificate from this course. VitalStim® Therapy is the original FDA cleared treatment approach to successfully combine Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and traditional dysphagia techniques. This hands-on competency course will focus on topics such as muscle physiology, kinesiology of the swallowing mechanism and on pathological swallowing mechanisms and processes. The basic principles and concepts of NMES will be taught and the VitalStim® Therapy protocol will be extensively reviewed and practiced. The participants will receive one-on-one attention from two instructors, a dysphagia expert and an electrical stimulation expert. Through extensive hands-on labs; attendees will apply the theory of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the treatment of dysphagia. This program is the ONLY accredited NMES for dysphagia program and provides participants with the building blocks and confidence to implement a successful VitalStim® Therapy program. Becoming a VitalStim Provider will add value to your practice, your facility, and most of all your patient's outcomes!
NOTE: Successful completion of the pre-requisite online MBS: The Clear Picture and this 2-day VitalStim® Therapy Course will train the participant to utilize VitalStim® technology in the treatment of dysphagia.
Disclosure: This course will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of VitalStim.

This is an intermediate level course. Requirements for the course are as follows:
  • Successful completion of online anatomy and MBS review course (click link for more details) MBS Course Instructions
  • Prior knowledge and experience in dysphagia management
  • Dysphagia as a significant portion of active caseload
  • SLP or OTR with current licensure in state of practice
  • SLP or OTR in compliance with state and national practice acts
VitalStim® Therapy Specialty recognition will be awarded to those who:
  • Complete the written post-test.
  • Demonstrate the accurate practical application of VitalStim® Therapy
NOTE: If these criteria are not met at the course, additional opportunities to successfully complete the process will be available

CIAO offers the VitalStim Specialty course for two populations (adult and pediatric). Either course may be taken to become a VitalStim Provider. VitalStim Providers may treat either or both populations.

This is an adult focused course. Placements discussed and presented will be for the adult population only. Pediatric placements are discussed and provided in the Pediatric Focused VitalStim course as well as in the online Pediatric VitalStim Therapy 1 & 2: Enhancing Decision Making course.

Click for
VitalStim Therapy Specialty Certificate Program Press Release

Course Pricing
$725 (Group - 10-24)
$675 (Group - 25-99)
$575 (Group - 100 or more)
$350 (Renewal 1.6 CEUs)
The VitalStim Therapy Manual will be issued at the live course.

The VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Program includes the online course, MBS - The Clear Picture for 1.2 CEUs (12 contact hours) and the two day hands-on "VitalStim® Therapy Course" for 1.6 CEUs (16 contact hours)

Renewal Options (Maintain your Specialty Certificate by completing a renewal course once every 3 years)

Live Renewal
Attend the live 2 day VitalStim course again (no online MBS required for renewal)
1.6 CEUs (16 contact hours) will be awarded for successful completion of course.
Entire live course is required for this option.
Register above by selecting the date/city and clicking register.
Choose the price option labeled "Renewal (no online MBS course required)"
You may also renew by attending thePediatric Focus course.

Online Renewal
0.7 CEUs (7 contact hours) will be awarded for successful completion of course.
Activate course within 6 months of purchase
30 days to complete once activated

Live Stream Renewal
Get the best of both worlds by taking your VitalStim Renewal course via Livestream.
Enjoy the benefit of having an instructor-led course where you can interact and ask questions - while sitting in the comfort of your home or office!.
Course locations listed above are NOT offered via Live Stream, click the Live Stream link for available dates.

VitalStim is a registered trademark of VitalStim, LLC.
VitalStim Therapy Specialty Program© CIAO Seminars

AOTA Classification Codes
Domain of OT: Client Factors, Context Environment
OT Process: Intervention

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Name the anatomical structures relevant to the swallowing function
  • Palpate the structures mentioned under objective 1 that are accessible to palpation
  • Describe the various phases of the normal swallowing movement
  • Describe the neuro-physiological processes involved in normal swallowing, neural pathways controlling swallowing, positive and negative feedback occurring during swallowing
  • Discuss the psychological aspects involved with and their impact on swallowing
  • Describe the main pathological conditions affecting the swallowing function in both the adult and pediatric population
  • Interpret the results of a modified barium study
  • Describe the procedure/protocol to perform a standard MBS
  • Categorize the swallowing disorder based on the result of the evaluation
  • Describe the characteristics of electrical stimulation and the influence of electricity on muscle tissue
  • Identify the pathological conditions for which electrical stimulation is indicated
  • Describe the characteristics of the VitalStim® Therapy electrical stimulation unit and the electrodes used
  • Discuss and demonstrate the application of VitalStim® Therapy technology in the treatment of dysphagia
  • Discuss and demonstrate the use of swallowing exercise during and after the application of VitalStim® technology
  • Discuss the use of other interventions to maximize the impact of VitalStim Therapy
  • Discuss and demonstrate correct use of documentation forms
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills regarding VitalStim therapy with other members of the healthcare team

Jodie Dacy


Jodie graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL with a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders. Mrs. Lujanschi has been practicing speech language pathology since 1995. Her experience is extensive in the private practice sector, but she also has clinical experience in hospital, long term care, outpatient rehab, and school settings. Mrs. Lujanschi has been a certified VitalStim® therapist for 7 years and has treated both pediatric and adult patients in treatment of dysphagia with the utilization of this modality. Additionally, she is certified in NOMAS, MDTP and Myofascial Release. She has presented locally and nationally on various topics such as Best Practices, The Benefits of Oral Motor/Feeding Therapy on Articulation/Speech Clarity amongst others. Currently, she serves the Speech Language Pathology profession at a Golisano's Children's Hospital in Southwest Florida as an outpatient therapist and is instructor of the VitalStim® Therapy Certification course for CIAO Seminars.

Financial Disclosure: Jodie receives honoraria from CIAO Seminars for the presentation of this course. She also receives royalties for the purchase of her recorded course(s)
Non-Financial Disclosure: Jodie uses VitalStim Therapy in her practice.

Yorick Wijting


Yorick received his Physical Therapy degree in the Netherlands and his DPT at the University of St. Augustine, Florida. He has extensive training and practical experience in biophysical agents and teaches nationally and internationally to medical professionals on their therapeutic use. Yorick has been instrumental in developing the use of electrical stimulation by Speech Language Pathologists in the treatment of dysphagia. Yorick currently lives in California and works for DJO Global as the Global Senior Director of Clinical Education. In this role he facilitates research initiatives, educational programs and the development of new rehabilitation methodologies and applications.

Financial Disclosure: Yorick receives honoraria from CIAO Seminars for the presentation of his live course(s) and royalties for the sale of his recorded course(s). Yorick is the author and an instructor for the VitalStim Therapy Specialty Program.
Non-Financial Disclosure: no relevant relationships exist

Day 1

07:30 - 08:00
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
08:00 - 10:00
Introduction, Program Overview, Swallowing physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, palpitation of head and neck structures (lab)
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
Dysphagia: presentation, evaluation, treatment
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:30
Dysphagia: presentation, evaluation, treatment (cont.), Electrical stimulation: Basic theory
02:30 - 02:45
02:45 - 05:00
Electrical stimulation: Basic theory (cont.), Electrical Stimulation for swallowing (lab)
05:00 - 06:30
Written Exam

Day 2

07:00 - 07:30
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
07:30 - 08:30
Review of material day 1, Q&A
08:30 - 09:30
Electrical stimulation for swallowing: theory
09:30 - 09:45
09:45 - 11:30
Electrical Stimulation for swallowing (lab continued)
11:30 - 12:30
Lunch (on your own)
12:30 - 03:15
Treatment progression, diet progression, case studies, integration
03:15 - 03:45
VitalStim Resource Network, General Q&A

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 16 Hours (1.6 CEUs)
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for ASHA #AAWA (SLPs) bubble sheet submission is required
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for AOTA #4119 (OTs)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (20 PDUs Clinical Lab Assessment)
  • CIAO is authorized by IACET to offer 1.6 CEUs for this program.
  • This course is approved by the CA Board of OT for Advanced Practice:
  • - 11.25 hrs Physical Agent Modalities CABOT#25-P4
  • - 7.0 hrs Swallowing CABOT#25-S1
  • 16 hrs. OTs in FL (CE Broker #20-515988)

CIAO is regognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

This course is offered for 1.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)..

CIAO is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). CIAO complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, CIAO is accredited to issue the IACET CEU.


"Awesome course! I could not be more satisfied with the knowledge that I gained! "

- Tampa, FL / Dec 2018

"Instructors had great collaboration to the presentation, knowledgeable on their presented information and good experience. Instructors provided adequate hands-on training to enhance learning."

- Columbus, OH / Nov 2018

"Wonderful, much needed refresher for swallow anatomy that made it functional and beyond the classroom "origin and intention" that isn't very functional. I feel I look at swallow in a new and improved way that will better serve my patients. "

- Dallas, TX / Oct 2018

"AWESOME COURSE! I feel like I learned more than my grad school course (smiley face) Thank you!"

- Atlanta, GA / Oct 2018

"I've been an SLP for 13 years. By far, this is the best continuing ed/certification course I have ever participated in. Outstanding job!"

- Atlanta, GA / Oct 2018

"Loved Tammy!!! CIAO presented the information with a cohesive learning experience.Loved the hands on component."

- Newark, NJ / Aug 2018

"Instructors were extremely knowledgeable, shared their experience, & very professional - really great course. Gina and Tom are excellent teachers."

- Newark, NJ / Aug 2018

"Excited to take what I learned back to my facility and patients! Feel as if I have doubled my knowledge of dysphagia in one weekend!"

- St Louis, MO / Aug 2018

"Presenters were thorough in introducing info & build upon it throughout the course. Use of experiences, case studies, and anecdotes were extraordinarily helpful in tying principles together."

- St Louis, MO / Aug 2018

"The presenters did a fantastic job with teaching complicated course content in an understandable manner! Wonderful teachers!"

- St Louis, MO / Aug 2018

"Appreciated the increased palpation techniques, review of placement strategies impacting specific muscles."

- Houston, TX / Jul 2018

"Instructors were able to present information in a practical and fun way. It only took two days to learn and review what would have taken a full semester of school with this awesome team. Will be coming back for more CIAO corses. Oh, Maddie is GREAT! Keep her forever!"

- Houston, TX / Jul 2018

"Maybe another break or two. The days are so long!"

- Houston, TX / Jul 2018

"Wish I had completed this this LONG ago! Clarifies swallowing function so well! Love the motivation to heal patients!"

- Kansas City, MO / Jun 2018

"Amazing course! I feel completely capable to begin using this Monday! Far exceeded my expectations!"

- Kansas City, MO / Jun 2018

"Awesome! Best swallowing conference I’ve attended in a long time! Thank you!!"

- Kansas City, MO / Jun 2018

"I would recommend this course to my co-workers. My knowledge base regarding VS has improved as well as my confidence in implementing VS during therapy sessions. The instructors were phenomenal. "

- Dallas, TX / May 2018

"Great course, very helpful in teaching the use of NMES. I would have enjoyed more case studies."

- Dallas, TX / May 2018

"Wow! Talk about passionate presenters. I loved this course and I feel I got prepared to take on dysphagia therapy with the use of vitalstim "

- Dallas, TX / May 2018

"Course was very thorough and provided great materials with information applicable for all dysphagia tx. This course exceeded my expectations."

- Baltimore, MD / Apr 2018

"The muscle training and electrical stim portion was highly informative and drove home the importance of NMES."

- Baltimore, MD / Apr 2018

"Presenters were highly educated and clearly conveyed information in an interesting manner!"

- Philadelphia, PA / Mar 2018

"Presenters were great! They offered an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise in the fields. I was surprised how much I learned from Penny in relation to my own field. "

- Philadelphia, PA / Mar 2018

"Wonderful course that not only helped me understand NMES but increased my knowledge of the swallow and dysphagia in general."

- Philadelphia, PA / Mar 2018

"Tammy rocked! Jon very funny and passionate about his work! Tammy was awesome - outgoing, supportive, and fun (smiley face). The instructors were great and informative. I became more confident and comfortable!"

- Schaumburg, IL / Mar 2018

"The most engaging and knowledgeable/informative CEU I've ever been to! I feel with practice and having the "binder" in my toolbox, I will be okay!"

- Metairie, LA / Mar 2018

"Very good presenters, both are very good at watching learners, then intervening to teach clinical skills in a positive manner."

- Irvine, CA / Feb 2018

"Excellent class! Thank you for your patience and willingness to answer all our questions! Great review of anatomy/physiology also!"

- Irvine, CA / Feb 2018

"Very thoughtfully covered material. Good exchange of questions and answers throughout presentation; excellent examples with videos. Adequate supplies, excellent feedback to students. Would be less confusion if lecture handouts matched sequences of slides presented. (I think some new slides added.) Would love to take additional courses from him. Yes, would recommend to others without hesitation."

- Irvine, CA / Feb 2018

"It was an intensive program but the instructors did a great job of reviewing the material every so often and checking to make sure we understood everything. Loved the labs. "

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2018

"This course exceeded my expectations. Looking forward to utilizing NMES with future patients. Thank you! Presenters were fabulous!"

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2018

"Although my head feels like it is going to explode, I'm super excited to utilize this new knowledge. I've enjoyed all the speakers (including Ann Marie). What a great class!"

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2018

"Kelly, Ann Marie and Penny were all very approachable, knowledgeable and helpful. They provided the information, tools and resources to help me feel competent as a clinician using this program."

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2018

"Long, but presenters used every minute effectively. I feel well prepared to use this new skill and answer physician, co-worker, and family questions."

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2018

"1) Would love to see a video (case study) of a patient actually receiving treatment t see it all come together, from case HX-> Targeting Decision Making-> TX Video -> Results 2) give us time to independently (or small group) process a case study from start to finish, then review the case with the whole group"

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Instructors were great. Provided very knowledgable information w/ personal experiences tied in! Also thought the course did a good job alternating hands on/book learning"

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Great course! I enjoyed the in-depth discussion of dysphagia/review of anatomy of the swallowing muscles. "

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Excellent conference with practical application. Presenters were highly knowledgable and info was well organized."

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Loved this course! I can't wait to get back to work and apply what I've learned."

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Maddie did a great job of making us feel welcomed; gave clear instructions. I appreciate the hands-on aspect of training and feel much more confident in my ability"

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Great Course! Very informative, easy to follow along and presenters did a great job in teaching how to apply all the knowledge/info. "

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"I feel like many clinicians still have reservations about using carbonated beverages because of the controversy so maybe providing alternative options besides carbonation. "

- Houston, TX / Jan 2018

"Both presenters were available for all questions, provide very good examples, atmosphere in hotel very good, Thank you!"

- Charlotte, NC / Dec 2017

"So glad that I took my first renewal course live. This would be recommended for all first time renewal. There should be a no cell phone usage policy during this course. It was so much great information. I feel sorry for SLP who used her cell phone throughout this course. "

- Charlotte, NC / Dec 2017

"Great course/Awesome Instructors!"

- Charlotte, NC / Dec 2017

"Very knowledgable and experienced instructors, personalized instruction, well organized and good pacing/use of time. Attentive and answered all questions."

- Tampa, FL / Nov 2017

"Great course! I felt that I gained so much knowledge regarding dysphagia tx as well as NMES. "

- Tampa, FL / Nov 2017

"Excellent course! Jen and Tom did a great covering a lot of complex information in a short period of time. Materials were well organized and helpful"

- Tampa, FL / Nov 2017

"Thorough explanation and hands-on training was wonderful."

- Tampa, FL / Nov 2017

"The best course I've ever taken. Highly interesting & informative! Wonderful presenters!!"

- Louisville, KY / Aug 2017

"This is a spectacular program. I've been doing this a long time (6 years), but my practice will greatly improve after this renewal!"

- Louisville, KY / Aug 2017

"Very engaging & educational. Was very beneficial."

- Louisville, KY / Aug 2017

"The overall lectures were delivered very well (each and every word was understood) The best part was the hand-on clinical practice which boost up the confidence to apply NMES directly to pts after this course. I would like to request CIAO Seminars to visit my country (Pakistan) for their courses. Looking forward! (R. B. S.)"

- Houston, TX / Jul 2017

"Both presenters were fantastic- highly knowledgeable and equally as approachable with questions/ guidance. Truly enjoyed this course! "

- Boston, MA / Jun 2017

"Teaching of both instructors throughout the course had a synergistic effect on your learning the material. "

- Boston, MA / Jun 2017

"I feel guilty that I have not been trained for NMES before now to have helped the many dysphagia pts I've had in the past! Amazing teaching speakers! Incredible simplified explanations - THANK YOU!!! You're both gifts to our field!!!!"

- Kansas City, MO / Jun 2017

"Excellent course. All of the analogies used will be helpful in explaining medical concepts to my patients/families."

- Pittsburgh, PA / May 2017

"Best CEU I've taken so far, hands on was so helpful to the learning! Presenters were highly knowledgable and engaging. Thank you."

- Irving, TX / Apr 2017

"Very informative-great presenters-can't wait to start providing the service to my population!!"

- Houston, TX / Jan 2017

"This course was wonderful and very informative/entertaining. Will be recommending. I feel as though I can begin using these skills immediately."

- Houston, TX / Jan 2017

"The hands-on labs for VitalStim were really helpful. I gained a better sense of how it feels and I think it helps me to understand my patient's perspectives."

- Columbus, OH / Dec 2016

"Very good information! Made me think about dysphagia treatment "upside down". I wonder why this wasn't taught in graduate school."

- Charlotte, NC / Dec 2016

"Amazing course not just for vitalstim but for dysphagia in general! Wonderful instructors, organized & in-depth presentation!"

- Newark, NJ / Nov 2016

"This was a wonderful seminar that not only educated us on VitalStim but also provided so much additional education on evaluation; treatment for patients with dysphagia."

- Romulus, MI / May 2015

"The course was fantastic! I can not wait to benefit my pts at a greater level with this new information."

- Metairie, LA / Feb 2015

"Amazing! I gained not only more infor/knowledge about NMES but greater understanding of Dysphagia."

- Metairie, LA / Feb 2015

"Phenomenal course! I learned so much!! Can't wait to apply what I have learned!!"

- San Antonio, TX / Feb 2015

"Amazing course! I would recommend the course to anyone even those who remain skeptical of NMES in treating dysphagia. There was a wealth of info!!"

- Atlanta, GA / Feb 2015

"This course was excellent! I learned so much and will use this knowledge everyday in my practice to better my patients lives."

- Nashville, TN / Jan 2015

"I came to this seminar quite apprehensive and a bit stressed. Upon completion, I am now equipped with new knowledge and confidence - ready and eager to apply these skills! Loved this course! Excellent presenters."

- Tampa, FL / Nov 2014

"Especially liked cranial nerve review. Great info. Switching of speakers was helpful. Presenters answered all questions. Nice hotel/location."

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2014

"Wonderful intense, coursework. Labs were very helpful with direct feedback from presenters."

- Nashville, TN / Feb 2014

"Great presenters. Thorough explanations helped understand the course material with ease. 100% satisfied."

- Houston, TX / Jan 2014

"Jodie rocked! Jodie for President! :) Love & appreciated how Jodie used her arms & hands as visual aids to help us learn structurs concepts for anatomy. Was blown away by both Jodie's & John's vast applied knowledge & how well they taught us. Liked having PT perspective. Lynus has the best contagious smile & energy! Thank you!!!"

- Houston, TX / Jan 2014

"I can apply what I've learned immediately in therapy."

- Tampa, FL / Dec 2013

"Great class! Fun, interesting, thorough and functionally applicable. Thank you!"

- Tampa, FL / Dec 2013

"A Lot of material in a very short amount time."

- St Louis, MO / Oct 2013

"Fantastic diagrams that helped facilitate a greater knowledge of muscles and placements!"

- Richmond, VA / Sep 2013

"Course was very informative. I liked that case studies were presented as well as hypothetical patient cases - to help w/ application"

- Minneapolis, MN / Apr 2013

"Enjoyed the course. Presenters with excellent knowledge and teaching methods. Ready to put the VitalStim to use with patients."

- Little Rock, AR / Mar 2013

"Excellent course- the best CEU course I have taken. I can’t wait to start using VitalStim in my practice."

- Columbus, OH / Mar 2013